With over 6 million car accidents each year in the USA, it’s a near certainty that you will be involved in one eventually. However, it’s what you do after the accident that can change the way it impacts your life.
Reports show that over 90 people die in motor vehicle accidents every day, and 3 million people in the USA are injured in car accidents every year.
As it so happens, distracted driving is the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents in the USA, resulting in more crashes each year than drunk driving, speeding, and other major accident causes.
According to a report, alcohol-related car accidents claimed 1,446 lives in 2014. These deaths represented more than 40% of all traffic fatalities that happened in Texas.
Furthermore, a 2018 TDOT car crash report shows that one individual was killed every 2 hours and 25 minutes, one individual was injured every 2 minutes and 7 seconds, and one reportable crash happened every 58 seconds.
In Lee County, stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrate that car accidents remain a primary public safety issue. Truck, car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents are all a common occurrence, despite advancements in road design, vehicle safety features, bicycles, pedestrian corridors, and traffic signs.
You can never be too safe on the road, which is why we’ve compiled a list of things you should and should not do immediately after an accident in Texas. Let’s check them out!
- 1 Things to Do After a Car Crash
- 2 Things to Avoid After a Car Crash
- 3 Wrapping Up
Things to Do After a Car Crash
Call For Immediate Assistance
Before you start worrying about everything else, make sure to call the local authorities, regardless of whether you or the other party requires medical attention.
Even if all parties involved are fine physically, you’ll still need a Lee County Accident Report. An accident or police report is generated by the officer who responds to a request for help at the scene of a car crash. The report is basically a summary of information concerning the crash, containing both facts regarding the incident and opinions of the officer.
By calling 911, you’ll successfully alert all authorities required. Therefore, contacting law enforcement is the first logical thing to do after you’ve experienced a car crash.
It’s always good to use your smartphone’s camera to take a few pictures of both vehicles and how they’re positioned. Also, take some photos of the license plate of the other car, as well as the location of the crash. If you must move vehicles out of the main road for safety concerns, remember to get these images before doing so.
If possible, we’d recommend not moving the vehicles until all the authorities are present at the scene.
Look for Witnesses
If you were involved in an accident, it could mean that you aren’t at fault. The people standing there possibly saw what exactly happened, thus making them crucial to your case.
Make sure to look around and ask each individual what they saw. Take notes of all the information. If possible, get their contacts, so you can talk to them later if necessary. Also, consider asking them to provide their statements to the officer when they arrive. If you can make this happen, it will be documented in the police report, too.
Now, you might think you’ll memorize everything that led up to the accident for the rest of your days, and maybe you will. But, most people do not boast a good memory. Thus, while it is still fresh in your head, jot down each crucial detail of what happened. Also, get information on the other party like their car model, insurance information, license plate number, etc.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After you’ve done everything above, contact your vehicle insurance company and let them know what’s happening. They will inform you of any further steps you might need to take, or any documents that you might need to hand them over.
Get Valuables Out
Your car will be towed off, so make sure to collect all valuables from inside. You never really know where the vehicle will be going, which is why it is good to remove anything and everything you cannot afford to lose.
Things to Avoid After a Car Crash
Do Not Leave the Scene After the Crash
When you have just been involved in a car crash, you might want to move the car to the side for safety or leave the scene for good. However, unless the police arrive at the scene within the first 30 minutes following the incident, moving your vehicle to safety is not safe for you. In fact, you might end up causing further harm to yourself and the vehicle.
Similarly, leaving the scene after the accident isn’t good either as it will affect your injury claim in the near future. Make sure the other party is also present at the scene until an officer arrives. This is for the investigating officer to identify how the accident occurred, who’s responsible, and what actions will be taken.
Do Not Delay to Call Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve called the authorities and gathered all the information, it is time to contact your insurance company as they must be made aware of the incident so your claim won’t be affected.
Do Not Provide Misleading Statements
Although you may feel tempted to apologize for what happened, it is extremely important not to do so, assuming it’s not your fault. Remember, your admittance of guilt could be used against you, making you legally liable for the incident.
Also, do not give misleading statements to avoid being prosecuted for insurance frauds. Moreover, you should be aware of your legal rights, especially after being involved in a car crash. To ensure you don’t unwittingly incriminate yourself, we’d suggest consulting your attorney before making any formal statements.
Do not Agree to Any Settlement Unless Your Have an Attorney Present
The insurance company will do everything to decrease your claim like making an offer immediately without considering your medical costs. If you, however, wish to obtain the right amount of compensation for your injuries, do not approve a settlement without contacting your attorney. Have them negotiate with your insurer to ensure they don’t take advantage of your situation.
While the tips mentioned above will get you started in the right direction, it is always best to meet with an experienced attorney when there’s a serious injury involved.
Car crash cases are often complex, and will usually require medical evidence, witnesses, and detailed knowledge of negligence law to succeed. So, get started now and call a good injury attorney in your area.